Water is essential

Every day we turn on our taps to fill glasses of water, make cups of tea, wash, cook, and clean. We rely on water to run our schools, hospitals, essential services, and businesses. And we need it to keep the world around us healthy too.

It's our job to provide a reliable supply of safe drinking water to around 3.8 million homes and 216,000 businesses across London and the Thames Valley. Every day we supply over 10 million customers with around 2.6 billion litres of water - enough to fill 1,000 Olympic sized swimming pools. Every drop of this water comes from the environment around us.

Water is essential for...

Our society

  • We all need water for everything from drinking, cooking, cleaning and washing to flushing the toilet, watering green spaces and doing the laundry
  • We forecast that we'll need an extra 1 billion litres of water every day for our customers by 2075

Our economy

  • With nearly as many businesses as the rest of the UK put together, the South East makes up around 37% of the national economy
  • Not having enough water to go around would cost London's economy alone around £500 million each day

Our environment

  • Our rivers sustain entire ecosystems and are home to over three million species of plants and animals
  • With over 20% of the UK's chalk streams in our area, it's our responsibility to take care of them as part of our operations

We take water from rivers and natural underground sources called groundwater. The Environment Agency regulates how much water we can take from the environment. We store water from rivers in large reservoirs until we need it, treating it to a high standard before distributing it to homes and businesses through our 20,000-mile network of pipes. Our supply area follows the River Thames and stretches from Gloucestershire in the west to Essex in the east. We've divided this into six areas, called water resource zones, helping us plan our service to customers at a more local level.